watercolour on Japan paper
47,5 x 35,6 cm (18 3/4 x 14 in.)
signed lower right
In the autumn of 1931, Emil Nolde painted a series of freely invented large-format watercolours, the "Phantasies". They are now born entirely of colour, the paper as such is no longer visible. They are partly created by the random gradients and irregularities of the colouring. What is depicted is difficult to grasp; they are strange creatures from fairy tales and legends, sometimes human, sometimes animal, sometimes both at the same time, goblins and spooky figures, desolate faces, elegiac individual figures, also groups, but above all couples, youthfully exotic or in the tense relationship of old man and young woman. Emil Nolde painted "Portrait of a Woman (brown hair, blue dress)" with the same technique and of the highest quality.